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Jeff Siegel's Prime Picks for Friday, April 17 at Santa Anita
The 1st race is an inscrutable state bred maiden race for fillies and mares at a mile on turf. Every starter has at least one reason to improve dramatically (or regress). Pass.
The 2nd race should be won by #3 Kalookan Event, but he’s 8/5 on the morning line and is likely to go lower. Beaten a neck in a similar spot last month while earning a very strong Beyer figure (87) for the level, the Headley-trained gelding need only run back to that race today to regain his winning form.
The 3rd race should be made to order for #2 Railroad, a class dropper in the Koriner barn with a winning spirit and proven form over this downhill turf course. Overmatched in a very strong allowance race last time out, the veteran gelding drops for the money run and seems like very good value at 4-1 on the morning line.
We’ll have to deal with another very short priced favorite in the 4th race, as #3 Dadsalittleunusual (8/5 on the morning line) should leave at odds-on or less. The Mitchell-trained gelding has won three of his last four starts with better than par ratings for the level and today he shows up at the bottom rung. If he’s got one more good one left in him, he’ll score again.
We’ll use three in the 5th race, another downhill turf scramble. #1 Kilderry was last seen in the Del Mar Derby and returns in a claimer but has trained sharply for Mitchell and looks very live despite the unfavorable rail post. He’s a perfect one-for-one down the hill. #6 Noblety is genuine and consistent and should fire another big shot while shortening up from a mile. He might be most effective as a late-running sprinter and gets ideal conditions today. #8 Searchforthetruth didn’t get the best of runs when a close up fourth vs. slightly tougher foes recently and lands a much better post today. He won’t have to improve much to register a mild surprise.
The 6th race pretty much boils down to #4 Hold This and #9 Judge Kent and either one can win. The former is a 9-race maiden but ran well at this level at this distance last time out and should be prominent throughout. The latter lands the good outside post, retains Bejarano, and should be moving strongly in the final furlong.
The 7th race matches #1 Temple City (first time blinkers) and #6 Globetrotter and these two should separate themselves from the pack when the real racing beings. Temple City exits a strong race, has improving numbers, and should enjoy an ideal ground-saving trip. The added distance won’t hurt, either. Globetrotter exits the same race as ‘City and finished a strong second in his first start since November of 2007. He’s lightly raced, in good hands, and has a chance to develop in to a very good sort down the road.
The nightcap is a middle distance maiden claimer for fillies and #1 Red Hot Charlotte and #8 Forever My Love should be used in all of your rolling exotics. Red Hot Charlotte, second in a similar spot last month, retains Rosario, lands the rail and won’t have to improve much to graduate. Forever My Love, a decent fourth in her debut at seven furlongs, stretches out to a distance she should like, switches to Bejarano, and is worth using at 6-1 on the morning line.